Francis Dunnery

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VaiaiVaiai Frets: 417
The man is a legend but he is funny too! Mentalist just posted this on FB:
https://www.facebook.com/FrancisDunnery/videos/10154935046356249/

Ignore the silly dancing - listen to Francis saying how if his support band guitarist is better than him he'll "fucking drag him off the stage and dress him in tranny gear" lol brilliant
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9320
    I always thought that his tricks were impressive, but that the It Bites music was arranged so that there's a few bars in which to display one trick, then a few bars for him to rest and get his head together, then another few bars in which he could display another trick, etc. Whereas guitarists like Andy Latimer could pull one trick out of the bag after another all in the same solo.

    This may be unfair, but it's what I gathered from what I saw on broadcast TV during the time I was watching broadcast TV
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2614
    Haha, I doubt many Guitarists would be better than Francis Dunnery.
    Conformity is the new Rebellion.
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  • DrBobDrBob Frets: 1844
    Very funny but are we sure Francis is still off the sauce ? 
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  • Strat54Strat54 Frets: 993
    Wow...he's still around. Saw It Bites in 1986, don't remember him being that great a player. He was obnoxious and on the sauce back then for sure. Pass.
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1903
    He is a great talent for sure - trying to play some of those lines while singing is ridiculous. 

    It bites were were one of those bands that just needed to pause and carry on instead of imploding.     His solo stuff is very good though. 

    Id have gone to one of these gigs if I could make it - a shame there aren’t more dates. 
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 11435
    Big fan of both him and his guitar playing. He's a monster player when he wants to be

    So frustrating that the London gig is at the weekend, I'm there all week but it's just not practical getting back Sat or Sun.

    Once around the World is in my top 10 albums ever.
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1469
    edited January 13
    His solo and acoustic stuff is just great.

    A few years ago, a friend up in York booked him for one of the 'Home Concert' performances he was doing. He said he was excellent but also very funny, engaging and talked a lot about astrology. 
     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • miserneilmiserneil Frets: 5279
    I was guitar tech on the more recent It Bites reunion tours with John Mitchell taking Franks place. Incredible musicians all of them.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3660
    I saw It Bites at their peak a couple of times, the 2nd time was probably one of the best live band sounds I have ever heard. Francis's playing and singing was top notch, superb band too. He also did a one man show in Portsmouth just sitting on a chair talking about his past and the music biz, very engaging funny guy 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 12568
    DrBob said:
    Very funny but are we sure Francis is still off the sauce ? 
    Yep, he definitely is - he did a home gig at my dad's house a few months back, spoke to him at length about it.

    Funny guy, but definitely didn't take it well when I told him I'd ditched the glass bottles for a Helix...
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3660
    DrBob said:
    Very funny but are we sure Francis is still off the sauce ? 
    Yep, he definitely is - he did a home gig at my dad's house a few months back, spoke to him at length about it.

    Funny guy, but definitely didn't take it well when I told him I'd ditched the glass bottles for a Helix...
    That's pretty awesome, I remember now you mentioning it a while back, I would have loved to have been there
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 9357
    I had no idea who you were talking about, having pretty much ignored the 80s so I googled It Bites.

    Are you guy fucking serious, really?


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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 12568
    p90fool said:
    I had no idea who you were talking about, having pretty much ignored the 80s so I googled It Bites.

    Are you guy fucking serious, really?


    Not got time to show you how wrong you are right now, but trust me...you're wrong ;)

    That's probably one of their worst tracks - I get the feeling "Just make it radio-friendly" was the brief.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • vasselmeyervasselmeyer Frets: 2412
    Most people's introduction to Francis Dunnery was on the 1980s C4 documentary on the electric guitar (which also had a section on Jerry Donahue). He was very engaging and played some wonderful runs all over the neck on a Squire. 
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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 1476
    He’s not aged well. 
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 1036
    He recently re-recorded some It Bites classics in a more organic-sounding way - "Vampires". I avoided IB when they were active but like this quite a lot. His solo gigs playing songs written after that period on an acoustic are really quite special. Has a potty mouth, though.
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  • usedtobeusedtobe Frets: 2622
    Fucking loon!
     =) 
     so if you fancy a reissue of a guitar they never made in a colour they never used then it probably isn't too overpriced.

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  • axisus said:

    Once around the World is in my top 10 albums ever.
    Yeah me too. Amazing album.  


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  • OctafishOctafish Frets: 1269
    Most people's introduction to Francis Dunnery was on the 1980s C4 documentary on the electric guitar (which also had a section on Jerry Donahue). He was very engaging and played some wonderful runs all over the neck on a Squire. 
    That's where I came across him a few years ago (doc is available on Youtube). Can't say I liked any of the It Bites stuff - hated 'Call All The Heroes' at the time and their other stuff doesn't sound much better to me - but as you say he seems an engaging guy. He later went onto play with Robert Plant in the early 90s.

    Also found out his older brother (Baz Dunnery) was in the early 70s band 'Necromandus', who Tony Iommi showed some interest in. Apparently Iommi was due to produce their debut album, but it was abandoned due to Iommi's Sabbath commitments and Baz Dunnery left and the band fell apart. Sounds a bit tragic, none of them members ever really made it and all but one of them has died.

    Anyhow, I quite like this more recent Dunnery track.....



    ... and some Necromandus. A bit meandering at points, but like the guitar stuff under the vocals.



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  • uksaint7uksaint7 Frets: 39
    OK well I think Francis is ace. I first saw him in about 1988 and he was amazing, I saw him again very early 2000s and it seemed like he was maybe struggling a bit (with his playing at any rate) but then saw him last year and he was most definitely back to his best. A fantastic musician- an excellent singer, guitar player and songwriter and a funny guy to boot. So I had a few video clips from last year on my phone, have just uploaded one especially for this post!


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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2614
    You managed to pick their deliberately "Chart Friendly Single" there @p90fool ;

    Try this one out, it's long, but has some wonderful playing in there.



    or maybe this, another long song though. They were essentially a Prog band for the 80's.



    :)


    Conformity is the new Rebellion.
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 11435
    Most people's introduction to Francis Dunnery was on the 1980s C4 documentary on the electric guitar (which also had a section on Jerry Donahue). He was very engaging and played some wonderful runs all over the neck on a Squire. 
    It was called Wham bang kerrang if I remember correctly. Saw it years later and it was a pretty naff documentary for the most part, but the It Bites section was them recording in the studio, far and away the best bit. Francis was widdling fast on a Squier strat.

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  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 288
    love Francis Dunnery - Tall Blond Helicopter was pretty much the soundtrack to late (drunk) nights at university for me and a few friends (especially 'It's Only New York Going On'). My guitar teacher at uni introduced me to him via Fearless, then the old It Bites stuff....great singer, composer and guitarist. 
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 9357
    Ok cheers guys, I'll have a proper listen later. 
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  • HarrySevenHarrySeven Frets: 3428
    Unsurprisigly, I hated IB.

    Their overblown, grandiose, OTT twiddly prog-pop utterly failed to appeal to my Post-Punk mid-‘80’s self.

    However, I remember watching the Equinox “Twang Bang Kerrang” documentary when it was first on (still got it on VHS somewhere) and being spellbound by Jerry Donahue, awed by Andy Summers’ fridge-size (Bradshaw?) rack, baffled by the loon Shadows fan and annoyed by FD’s swagger as he fretwanked some (admittedly impressive) Holdsworth-esque one-hand legato runs while relaxing at The Manor.

    IIRC, there was a moment when, bigging up the playability of his Squier Strat, he indicated his USA Fender and said “I can’t do this on that one. Well, I can..” and I thought “Tosser”. :)

    I also recall there being some weird multi-string thing he played later - interviews/photographs in the long-defunct “Making Music” broadsheet-style mag?


    HarrySeven - Intangible Asset Appraiser & Wrecker of Civilisation. Searching for weird guitars - so you don't have to.
    Forum feedback thread.    |     G&B interview #1 & #2

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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 11435
    (especially 'It's Only New York Going On'). 
    That track is perfection! A beautiful study in loneliness. (Not so keen on how he plays it live though)
    ..... and being spellbound by Jerry Donahue
    Ahhh yes, forgot about that bit - quite amazing!
    I also recall there being some weird multi-string thing he played later - interviews/photographs in the long-defunct “Making Music” broadsheet-style mag?
    Yes, he invented a two handed tapping board, I believe he used it to play the brilliant solo on the IB track Rose marie - a long time favourite solo of mine, it comes in brilliantly.
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  • Pete24vPete24v Frets: 227
    TheMarlin said:
    He’s not aged well. 
    He thinks the same about his audience ;-) (according to an episode of his radio show on progzilla)
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  • Pete24vPete24v Frets: 227
    I've been a FD fan for quite a few years now. I actually prefer his solo albums to the It Bites stuff, 'Let's Go Do What Happens' is a brilliant album, the opener 'My Own Reality' is amazing.



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  • VaiaiVaiai Frets: 417
    I don't think he is drunk but has probably just been told they have sold enough tickets to cover the cost of the tour and seems kinda happy! Lots of good posts above :)

    @miserneil Very cool - John Mitchell is also a fantastic player - he did a solo on my mates album and produced some or all of it too - it was the Tilt album - Steve Vantsis is in that too as well as Lonely Robot of course. My mate Dave Stewart went to school with me and played at mum's jazz gigs when he was 15 - now on tour with Albert Hammond and also in Tilt.

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  • Moe_ZambeekMoe_Zambeek Frets: 2425
    I haven't heard 'Calling all the heroes' for a long time, but it instantly transported me back to my youth. I disliked it back then but you can't deny it's a good pop song, I'm surprised by how good his voice is. I actually quite like it, now.

    That video led to many hilarious piss takes off people we knew who played their guitar too high, and surreptitious strap-adjusting for laughs.
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